Covid-19: Monaco’s new ultra-rapid testing lab is a game-changer

Gaetan Luci / Prince's Palace

On Monday 16 November, Prince Albert II inaugurated a new lab at Monaco’s Scientific Center (CSM), which will significantly speed up the processing of Covid-19 PCR tests.

With a name straight out of a spy film, Cobas 6800 will significantly reduce the time it takes to analyse coronavirus PCR test results. It therefore also ensures that Monaco maintains sovereignty over its testing process. 

A multi-purpose lab

In order to ensure that as many cases of coronavirus as possible are isolated, Monaco has increased the number of tests being carried out. However, more tests also mean more work for Monaco’s labs. The new lab’s arrival is timely. However, the functionality of Cobas 6800 is not limited to Covid-19. The new lab is multi-purpose and will also be used for other ends, including research on papillomavirus.

This facility will alleviate the pressure place on the Principality’s private and public laboratories, which have been working tirelessly since the start of the health crisis to carry out as many tests as possible.

Pierre Dartout, Minister of State

Taking the pressure off the hospital

Produced by Roche Diagnostics, Cobas 6800 can analyse up to 400 tests a day. The new lab will therefore process most of Monaco’s PCR tests, taking the pressure off the Princess Grace Hospital.  

Automating the testing process

In partnership with Monaco’s Scientific Center and the Princess Grace Hospital,  the body in charge of Monaco’s digital transition has developed a platform that speeds up the process by which patients have access to their test results once the lab has finished analysing their sample.

Results will now be available between 12 and 24 hours after the patient has been tested, compared to 36 hours before.

“These advancements will enable the Government and health authorities to have reliable and complete data at their disposal, in order to make the best decisions for the Principality. They give us a new impetus in the fight against the virus,” said Didier Gamerdinger, the Minister of Health and Social Affairs.